This year is a special one. The United Nations has dubbed 2008 the International Year of the Potato. En français, c’est l’Année Internationale de la Pomme de Terre. Sounds a bit more fancy that way, doesn’t it? The idea is to draw attention to a food that is nutritious, flexible and integral to many cultures.
In an attempt to interact more with other food sites in the blogsphere, this year I had decided to participate more in blog roundups hosted by Is My Blog Burning. Eating Leeds is hosting one this month related to aforementioned tuber. The great thing about the recipe I chose for this, is that it let me take something that I hadn’t made in a while and rework it completely into something a bit more elegant and suitable for a nice dinner à deux.
I did use the typical (for the U.S.) Yukon Gold potato as my base, which I really love for cooking. I know that Eating Leeds had wanted us to try to use a variety with which we normally don’t cook, but that would make it probably too difficult for most of you to try. Having to locate truffle oil for this dish might be enough of a challenge. I had bought a bottle during my trip to Italy last year and was just looking for a good excuse to tap into my supply.
It also gave me the chance to dig something out of the back of my cupboard which worked perfectly for this recipe. I’d done a big kitchen clear-out last year of all kinds of extraneous utensils and fussy cooking things that I don’t really use on a regular basis. For some reason, though, I’d hung on to these mini springform cheesecake pans. Not that I make cheesecakes at all, but I think in the back of my mind, I knew that they might have another purpose. They were perfect for this dish. Before you run out and buy these, though, you can achieve a similar result by making rings with aluminum foil and cooking these on a greased baking sheet.
Prep time: about an hour
Serving size: 2 galettes
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
3-4 tsp olive oil and truffle oil
Peel potatoes, cut into cubes, and cook in boiling water. Drain water and thoroughly mash potatoes with a fork or a ricer until there are no lumps. Do this with the pan on turned-off burner to cook out the last of the moisture.
Start by pouring into potatoes 1 tsp truffle oil and 1 tsp olive oil, putting in additional oil as necessary (both types as preferred, to taste), and whip until a completely smooth purée is formed. Stir in garlic, thyme, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two mini cheesecake pans, about 4 inches in diameter, with a drizzle of olive oil and divide the potato mixture between them. Leave about half an inch room at the top to allow for potatoes to rise while baking. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Remove from oven. Release clasp. Galette will be golden brown on top and sides. Slide a knife underneath the bottom to release and put on a plate. Serve warm. If you happen to have any fresh truffles at hand, garnish with slivers of that.
Eggs are often just considered to be breakfast fare, but they are also good for dinner. Consider serving this with a poached egg and mesclun dressed with vinaigrette. I decided to add a little leftover smoked salmon to mine.